Happy Women

Course

principles

The Own My Life course's core principles are important to the course's method and delivery.

Woman centred

Woman-centred

We centre women and their needs in all that we do and we understand that a feminist analysis is necessary to effectively respond to male violence and the harm men do to women and children.

Intersectionality

Alongside sex, there are other axis of oppression including race, ethnicity, sexuality, class, disability, gender identity, education, age, job, religion, and economic status that interact with the impact of male violence on women’s lives. (Crenshaw, 1991)

Intersectionality

Abuse is rooted in ownership and entitlement

Men’s abuse and violence is rooted in their beliefs that they own their partner (and children) and they are entitled to behave in whatever ways they choose to.

Abuse is rooted in ownership and entitlement

Controlling Behaviour

Men who abuse use various tactics to control women and children, to have power over them, and to maintain their beliefs of ownership and entitlement.

Abuse is controlling behaviour
Space for action

Space for Action

In order to leave an abuser and move forward with their lives women need space for action, where the abuser’s tactics become less effective and they have a supportive space to take positive action for their lives. (Kelly, 2003)

Consciousness Raising

This refers both to a woman’s consciousness of her own personal life, but also to gaining understanding about the dynamics of domestic abuse and what is driving the abuser’s behaviour.  It also includes socio-political education in identifying misogyny, patriarchy, and sexism in media, law, history, and across society.

Consciousness raising

Building Self-Efficacy

Women need to be able to take back ownership of their lives from the abuser.  They can be supported to do this through having space for action and through consciousness raising.  Self-efficacy is defined as having confidence in your ability to exert control over your own motivation, behaviour, and social environment.  Helping women to build self-efficacy is integral to recovery after a relationship with an abuser.  (Bandura, 1994)

Building self efficacy
Safety

Safety

Abusive men kill women and children.  They rape, injure, disfigure and violate women and children.  Any intervention with women may increase an abuser’s risk to them, and this requires practitioners and organisations to make every effort to maintain and increase the women and their children’s safety.